Books

Leo Reynods via Flickr Creative Commons

Our niftiest and spiffiest content, all in one great show. This week, a look at the shifting human condition. Holocaust survivors being turned into holograms, a Russian "Swiss Family Robinson" that missed most of the 20th Century, corporate anthropologists, transplant "tourism," the nasty effect of internet comments, and a former professor pens a memoir about being stalked by an ex- student online.

Hatherleigh Press

Research published last month suggests that major mental illnesses may have more genetic associations than previously thought, perhaps leading to new diagnoses and treatments. Author David Blistein wrote his latest book, "David's Inferno: My Journey Through the Dark Wood of Depression,"  inspired by his own experience.

Emily Carlin vis flickr Creative Commons

Last week, we came across an info-graphic that went viral among bookish types on Facebook and Twitter. VIDA, an organization for women in the literary arts, released a series of charts illustrating the results of “VIDA Count 2012”…that’s a tally of male and female book reviewers at major publications --  including The Atlantic, Harpers, and The New York Times Book Review -- and the  gender of authors they reviewed over the past three years. Jason Boog is editor of the publishing website "Galleycat", where he blogged about the findings.

New Fiction of 2013

Mar 5, 2013
Sara Plourde / NHPR

For our special March Fund Drive kick-off, we bring you an extra program with our "Book Buffs." Two New Hampshire independent booksellers talk about the latest literary offerings, including some from New England authors. We’ll hear what’s coming this spring from the publishing world. We’ll also take your suggestions on what new fiction is tops on your list.

Guests

Dave Barry

Feb 21, 2013
Monte Bohanan, The Music Hall

The Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist joins us with his first solo adult novel in over a decade – the darkly comic Insane City. The book is a riotous tale of a destination wedding gone awry with Russian gangsters, angry strippers, a pimp as big as the Death Star, a very desperate Haitian refugee on the run with her two children from some very bad men, and an eleven-foot Burmese albino python named Blossom.

Mark Larson via Flickr Creative Commons

Nearly half a century ago, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood detailed the savage murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas. That book is regarded as a literary landmark… the first so-called “nonfiction novel” that brought the true crime genre to the mainstream and cemented Capote’s celebrity status. It’s inspired three films, among them, “Capote,” in 2005, which earned a best actor Oscar for Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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Our shiniest and sparkliest content, all in one show-tacular program. This week, a Salon writer contemplates the history of "white Southern defeat," a foremost expert on gluten explores the hype around the latest food trend, New Hampshire author Ben Nugent talks about his new novel, "Good Kids," and illustrator Danny Gregory explains how grief was overcome with art. Oh, and Sean Hurley contemplates the danger of skating on thick ice.

You can also hear the show on SoundCloud:

Photo by Kate Lacy Photography, courtesy of petside.com

On Monday, Westminster kicks off its 137th contest in front of a packed house at New York’s Madison Square Garden, and no shortage of bemused TV spectators on America’s couches.  For most, the world of competitive dog handling is a mysterious one – we at Word of Mouth were forced to admit while prepping for this segment that the bulk of our show-dog knowledge stems from the 2000 Westminster mockumentary, Best in Show, directed by Cristopher Guest. 

loadmemory via Flickr Creative Commons

Math has had a good run. Its virtues were extolled during the presidential debates and in endless news stories calculated fiscal scenarios.  New York Times blogger Nate Silver was pilloried by math, then vindicated. Still, mathematics and the data-driven statistics that guide decisions from Wall Street to the dugout to your insurance rates are woefully misunderstood.

If you’re in the mood for a little self-improvement at the start of the year, you’ll have no trouble finding guides; there are at least 45,000 self-help books currently in print. They run the gamut: the self-made man, mind-cures, chicken soup, subliminal messages and Zen meditation. They’re published in dozens of languages, but self-help books are predominately an American phenomenon.  To explain why, we turn to Laura Vanderkam, author of “The Paperback Quest for Joy”.

Audio Pending...

Jared Diamond

Jan 9, 2013
David J. Murray / cleareyephoto.com

Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning and bestselling author of Collapse and Guns, Germs, and Steel, takes the stage to discuss his latest foray into a field he has made his own -- a biological analysis of human history.

We’re beginning the new year with some "culture-vores" about which trends and habits they expect to fade out or faze in during 2013… Joining us for more on the literary scene is Jason Boog, editor of the publishing news website Galley Cat...and, for more on what’s coming up for food in 2013, we asked Maine chef and cookbook author, Kathy Gunst – who cautions that watching for culinary trends is not an entirely objective undertaking.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

Fritz Wetherbee is no stranger to milestones – he has five Emmys, an honorary doctorate, and perhaps most importantly, his own bobblehead doll.

Now he’s reached another mark – one thousand stories through eight books. Hence the title of his latest collection, “Milestone.”

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Most of us read 1984 and Lord of the Flies in high school, but the new dystopian novel has grown in popularity beyond the required reading list to include a new generation of young fans.  David Sobel looks at the legion of apocryphal novels set in worlds devastated by wars and environmental collapse now aimed at teens as emblematic of a rising tide of hopelessness. He is a member of the senior faculty at Antioch New England, and his article “Feed the Hunger” was published in the November-December issue of Orion magazine.


Sean Hurley

Publisher Bennet Cerf once bet Dr. Seuss that he couldn’t write a book using only 50 words.

The words were:

…a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, you.

Micro

Dec 19, 2012
praveenspravi

With the recent paperback reissue of Michael Crichton's posthumously published book, Micro, we thought our segment from last year was worth revisiting. Does a sci-fi novel about nanotechnology improve with age? You be the judge.

Today we spoke with Robin Whitten, founder and editor of AudioFile magazine about the best books read by celebrities in 2012.

Sara Plourde, NHPR

It's our annual Holiday Books Show!   Several major biographies are out, including Joseph Kennedy and Thomas Jefferson.  Also fiction fans are raving over new releases from Louise Erdrich and Gillian Flynn.  We’ll find out what the big reads might be under you Christmas Tree! 

Guests

The Mortal Sea

Nov 30, 2012

In a new book, UNH professor Jeffrey Bolster argues the North Atlantic, for all its vastness and power, is deeply vulnerable.and has suffered cycles of over fishing for centuries, with each new method of fishing causing stocks to decline.  We’ll look back at this history…and what it might teach us about restoring our oceans to health.

Guest

W. Jeffrey Bolster - UNH Professor and author of the new book "The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail""

Recently the website BoingBoing recommended a novel called The Last Policeman. It's a murder mystery with a unique twist: it's set six months before a massive asteroid is set to collide with Earth and essentially cause the end of the world.

Rene S / Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: Pimpin' Your Thanskgiving Faves

A.P. food writer and cookbook author J.M. Hirsch shares his tips on how to “pimp” your Thanksgiving dinner to make it impress without stress. Make your own butter in five minutes, stuff your turkey with fresh herbs, and make sure to dry your potatoes before you mash them. And as far as salad? Forget it. Thanksgiving comes but once a year, so splurge.

Part 2: A Vegan Thanksgiving???/Chocolate... Yum

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In 2002, Concord Monitor writer Mike Pride received a letter in the mail mentioning two pieces of authentic Civil War correspondence. A Civil War buff since he was a teenager, Mike soon discovered that New Hampshire was teeming with historic accounts of the soldiers and families that served in the Union Army. 

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A country divided by a grueling campaign season has an opportunity to unite this Veteran’s day.  Remembering America’s fallen turns our minds to the long view…and to historic sacrifices beyond the politics-of-the-moment.

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The runaway success of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey has exposed some of America’s other sexual impulses. The trilogy has sold tens of millions of copies by appealing to readers of so-called “mommy porn”.

As senior legal analyst for CNN, staff writer for the New Yorker, and the author of The Nine, Jeffrey Toobin knows more than a few things about and more than a few people inside the United States Supreme Court.

Gross America By Richard Faulk

Most everybody knows our country’s diverse landmarks and attractions – the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, Disneyland – but not everybody knows about the Spam Museum in Austin Texas... or Leila’s Hair Museum in MissouriRichard Faulk is a freelance writer and editor.

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Jeffrey Alford is an adventurous sort. He left his Wyoming home in the late 1970's with very little money and began traveling in Asia. He funded his travels by smuggling gold and hawking jewelry before meeting another restless spirit named Naomi Duguid on a Tibetan rooftop in 1985. The two vagabonds got married, had two sons, and turned their love of Asia and its foods into a career of travel, writing and photography.

David Murray www.cleareyephoto.com

Today, prize-winning author Salman Rushdie enjoys a life in the public eye and a literary career rife with accolades, using his work to examine the cultural connection - and disconnection -  between East and West and the history and experiences of Asian diaspora, all through the lens of magical realism.

Circumstances have not always been that way.

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It’s not often that we stumbled across a story like the one we found in the latest edition of one of our favorite magazines, Mental Floss. It’s a profile of Alexandra Horowitz, who earned her PH.D. in cognitive science and teaches psychology at Barnard College.

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Author, essayist, and staff writer for The New Yorker Susan Orlean takes vivid snapshots of people who live way off the beaten path.

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